The Office Blend Blog

Here’s How to Build a Stronger, More Stable Organizational Culture

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We would all like to build a strong, stable organizational culture. Yet, we often underestimate the enormity of the challenge to do so. I’ve spent years, diagnosing organizational issues and f I have learned one lesson it is this: It is always difficult to face what has gone wrong. In a sense, we dance around the issues. We build compensatory mechanisms to manage the fallout. We make excuses.

In the end, we often treat the entire situation like a spoiled child that we would rather not upset.

Yet, to build a stronger organization you must honestly examine and address, the elements that may have contributed to its current state.

Organizational Core Stability: A confluence of elements including, but not limited to: 1) clarity surrounding the development/communication of mission, goals, strategy and expressed values, 2) clear governance, 3) alignment of resource priorities, 4) shared performance metrics.

Facing the music can be a painful process. There can be discussions of blame, of frustration because of thwarted efforts to improve, of obstacles. However, examining the discord — note by note — is the only way to move forward. I’ve found that my role, is just as much about cushioning the blow, as it is diagnostic.

If your organization has begun this process, take heart — and remember the following:

1. No one sets out to build a sick culture. I’m going to absolve everyone of their guilt, in the name of forward progress. Horrible cultures seem to take on  a life of their own. Time, growth, and the wrong metrics — push organizations down the wrong path — somewhat like a bully that is about to steal your lunch money. The resulting condition can serve as a devastating blow, but no one wanted it to happen.

2. Letting go of blame can be a liberating moment. When you let go of blame, of silos and functional turf, you can get to the business of changing things. Stabilizing the organization is the first step on the road the rehabilitation. Internal organizational stability requires that you examine topics such as governance, decision-making, resources and how you treat your people. Rebuilding your culture starts from the nucleus and moves outward. (Moreover, “dark-side” elements, such as narratives that over-ride healthy habits, must be unearthed and quickly addressed.)

3. Start small, and behave differently. The proof is in the pudding as they say — and the best way to improve a sick culture is for it to behave differently. If you manage a team or department, make no mistake, it is a living, breathing micro culture. Know that if observed behaviors do not change in line with a declared cultural change, there is little hope of rehabilitation. The culture will continue to decline, and the organization will lose both people and opportunities.

Change is often about forgiveness. About re-focusing toward the future and leaving painful narratives behind.
In a sense, this must be extended to the larger organization as well.

Allow it to move on.

Have you ever been involved in an effort to change an unhealthy culture? Was it successful? What were the greatest challenges?

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her training series The Core — helps people & organizations build a stronger work life foundation. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Where We Are Now With Work

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Photo by Eli Sommer on Pexels.com

There is nothing so stable as change. – Bob Dylan

I’ve not felt like writing in weeks. I have 45 open drafts. That’s a record (even for me).

There is a malaise that meets me at my desk on many mornings. I would characterize this as a lack of energy. A bit of resistance to do the work I normally love.  (Indeed, I am grateful to still have a role to occupy my mind.) I will hypothesize that the pace of both challenge and change in our world, has finally caught up with me.

Of course, none of us has all of the answers. We can only bring our collected knowledge and best intentions to forge ahead.

As I usually do, I’ve talked to others about their work as well — how it has changed (for better and worse), how it will remain so for some time, how we must adapt. What I’ve learned, is that we are entering a new phase of work life, “post” the arrival of Covid. The changes we are going through come with an element of loss and we should open to speak about all of it.

We are each affected differently, that goes without saying. But, as aptly expressed in this HBR article: “If we can name it, we can manage it.” I’ll start. You can join in the comments section if you wish.

I am quickly realizing that this crisis isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon. We are in this for the long-haul. Some of the elements of work life that once were — may never return. Some of the changes will be useful. Other changes will likely make us feel oddly out of sync. (We seem to be moving through a crash course in “digital transformation,” in real-time.)

I also know that we should draw from our foundation, our built work life core — to help us along. We must acknowledge what we can bring with us on this journey. More specifically — that we can bring along the good, as well as the challenging. (A strong nod to positive psychology here.) Bolstering our resolve with the positive, is vital. This may be a useful strategy in our arsenal to combat all of the work life twists and turns, yet to come.

What we’ve built.

We bring along the elements of our work lives that we have nurtured. The strong teams. The great colleagues. The challenge of the work. The healthy cultural landscapes.

These elements will help us adapt, help us face the changes with resilience.

Of course, when the dust settles we’ll have decide if we still fit — and at least assess where we find ourselves within our current organization. The outcomes of which will not be easy to predict. It is hard to know what choices (good or bad) an organization will make. What choices you must make. Yet, I do know that you should pause to re-evaluate constructs such as the psychological contract. Discuss it openly. Declare what you need to stay engaged and healthy. Managers should have an open and honest conversation with each one of their employees to take stock.

Ultimately, our world of work is now characterized by change.

To keep pace — look to your core.

Lean in to the great things you have built.

Please Note: The articles on this site are the intellectual property of the author — and cannot be used commercially without expressed written consent.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist & speaker, who explores the value of core stability to empower work & career. Her course, The Core Masterclass teach managers how to build core stability for themselves and their team.

Empathy Could Be Your Next Career Super Power

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Photo: @jamieinemo at Instagram

empathy
noun

em·​pa·​thy | \ ˈem-pə-thē\

Definition of empathy
1 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner

I’m sure you can think of a heated or stressful work life situation, where you felt that a perfect comeback was in order. A precise (possibly biting) response that might preclude any future discussion or debate. The perfect word salad, to prove your point and end any confusion concerning who was in the right.

However, I’d like to pitch a radical technique that I often discuss with coaching clients. A technique that could change the tenor of the moment. A technique that might offer an alternative avenue to help you through a frustrating situation.

So — here it is.

Double-down on empathy. The ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and possibly walk in their world for just a moment. Empathy is an often undervalued work life strategy for a number of reasons. This may be pride-based. Ego-based. Habit-based.

Here are a few thoughts about empathy — and how we might make a habit of maximizing its potential.

  • The gut response. Our “fight or flight” reflex often stops us from applying empathy. We might anger quickly or have little patience to move beyond the initial emotional hurdle. In these cases, a lack of empathy might operate as a means of protection.
  • We right empathy off. I challenge you to pick a work life scenario (if it is recurring, even better) that you would not normally apply empathy. Now try it on. Is there a colleague that you interact with regularly, that you just can’t seem to tolerate? Is there a client you find particularly grating? These could be opportunities to see issues from a very different perspective.
  • Finding empathetic inspiration. We often undervalue our own potential for empathy. Think of situations where you have felt true empathy for someone else at work — and remind yourself that this emotion lives within you. Moreover, think of situations where you would have personally benefited from empathy. How might another have behaved to make you feel supported? Now take that knowledge and apply it.
  • Be “empathy” accountable. With any behavioral change, you should monitor progress. This demands that you reflect on what you have been doing that is different. Be sure to note when you’ve infused more empathy within your daily work life. Record what you said and did. How did this affect others? How did the change make you feel?

Infusing empathy into work life, likely has benefits that we simply cannot measure. Have you noticed this dynamic? Share your experiences in comments.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who explores the value of core stability to empower work & career. She helps people & teams build a stronger work life foundation through The Core Masterclass. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

Rituals, Walking Around the Block & the War of the Roses

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Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored. – Terry Tempest Williams

Notes

We planted four clump, yellow rose bushes in our backyard garden last summer. They are situated in an area where for some odd reason, everything seems to perish. I have a number of concocted theories as to why this continues to happen. Our home is well over 70 years old and from what I discern from original plans, a garage once stood near that area. Maybe this contributes somehow. Or there is possibly too much sun. Too little water. Or our 100 pound German Shepard stomps over the plantings when chasing her tennis ball.

I’ve just surveyed the situation. It’s not looking all that hopeful.

The point is not the roses, but that the ritual of the garden occupies my mind in a manner that frees me for a stretch of time. Small rituals makes us more comfortable, more centered — even when a sense of instability may exist all around us. For you, this may mean walking around the block after dinner, game night, sitting on your balcony in the morning or a quiet cup of coffee before you write a report. You could call these routines, but somehow these idiosyncratic actions hold more value than that label would imply.

Whatever that ritual is, no matter how small it may seem — it matters. Small rituals help define who we are as individuals. They help align who we are with our surroundings. I feel they likely make us better contributors, as well.

When we get back to our desks, the rest will still be there.

But for that moment, I’m rooting for the roses.

Strategy: Rituals

  • Do you have a small ritual that helps you remain productive right now?
  • Do you feel rituals have become more important during this crisis?
  • Does your organization or team have a ritual that helps them along?

Rose update: We’ve lost one. The others are hanging on. (It’s quite hot and dry here at the moment.)

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who explores the value of core stability to empower work & career. She helps people & teams build a stronger work life foundation through The Core Masterclass. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

How Work Life Minimalism Can Lead to Abundance

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I’ve become painfully protective of my morning ritual. If I’m up early enough, I can log in an hour’s worth of reading & writing before anyone invades my cocoon. There is a designated YouTube playlist bookmarked to avoid any aberrant selections. My notebook is handy. I filter in the birds — and filter out the news.

It’s my own thing. It is specific and highly idiosyncratic.

Your journey through the current pandemic is a personal one. In a sense, we have all been thrown head first into the annals of history — and left to our own devices. Each day can be a challenge. Each moment unsettling. Yet, there have been increased moments of clarity. You may have noticed them.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the last months it is this: Abundance isn’t really about more. It is not about doing more — or achieving more — or earning more. It is about identifying the moments that bring you more. The moments that expand your world. That fuel you. That become your work life fire.

(Less noise, more signal perhaps?)

Finding more of these moments is the priority. I’ve learned that fewer, in many cases is better, and we can apply minimalism to our work lives. With that — here are a few common work life elements that could be recast with this strategy in mind:

  • Your Network. The number of people with whom we “connect” has grown precipitously over the last decade. While these so called networks may be expansive, they usually have “inspiration” gaps. Take a closer look at your network. Are there individuals that help you feel creative or energized? Someone you can riff with about the state of your industry? You cannot give back to the world — if the fuel is not present.
  • Your Goals. How we view goals, has been a deep concern of mine for some time. Most specifically, their often inelastic nature. We tend to collect goals over time, but fail to consider which goals actually serve us. This can cloud our view and dampen focus. In my course, we spend a fair amount of time reflecting on the goals that live in our heads, but fail to inspire or direct us. Try not to fall into the “crowded” trap.
  • Maintenance. Self-care is a worthy goal. Yet, I’ve seen it become an obsessive chore rather than a dynamic to truly restore ourselves. Integrating self-care options within our daily lives doesn’t need to be a drawn out or elaborate process. Simple solutions, such as jotting down thought & ideas in a notebook to clear your mind or a daily walk, are worthy solutions that have been utilized for centuries.

Do you capture abundance with less? Share your story.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who explores the value of core stability to empower work & career. She helps people & teams build a stronger work life foundation through The Core Masterclass and Work Life 101. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

 

5 Unexpected Things I’ve Learned About People, Work & Organizations

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Photo: @jamieinemo at Instagram

What we need to know about our line of work, can never be conveyed completely in a classroom setting.

Scores of valuable lessons are learned through our experiences. In some cases, they emerge as topic gaps. For example, a course entitled “consulting for success” was not a part of my curriculum. (It should have been.) In other cases, the guidance is shared, but delivered far too early — as we require a certain breadth of experience to comprehend its importance. (Only maturity brings this.)

Ultimately, we discover many of these vital lessons on our own.

On some occasions, just in the nick of time. On other occasions, that timing is not as fortunate.

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned with time:

  1. No matter how driven or successful — work cannot be corralled into a neat, confined space.
    Early in my career, I was caught in an elevator with the most senior level employee in my department. (Her office was just a stone’s throw from mine and I would only see her breezing to and from meetings.) Normally stoic, on this particular day she was uncharacteristically open, “In this organization you need to learn to leave your personal life at the door. Remember that, Marla.”, as she huffed out of the elevator. As the doors closed, I was so struck by her admission that I forgot to exit. I realized years on, that work affects us broadly — because of its central importance in the operation of our everyday lives. Work-life balance is really more of an integration challenge. Moreover, when an organization ignores this fact, undo pressure and stress often develop. Everyone loses, as she likely felt in that moment.
  2. Never make assumptions about people how people feel about their work.
    I left school believing that my training and reasoning skills, could help me solve most of the encountered work life problems. However, that belief was inherently flawed. Over time, I came to realize that the true nature of someone else’s experience, isn’t obvious. The only way to gain access and understand that perspective, is to develop a trusting relationship and inquire. True feelings and dynamics are often shrouded — and leading with curiosity is vital.
  3. Growing pains aren’t just for kids. They apply to work life as well.
    My father was a family physician, so I was well versed concerning the pain experienced as tendons stretch to accommodate bone growth. I’ve also realized that organizations and careers paths, suffer from a similar dynamic. As individuals & organizations approach important inflection points, they must stretch to meet the challenge. This can become quite uncomfortable. My role is to help them through it.
  4. Goals which once motivated us, can also trip us up.
    If you’ve ever been stuck trying to force your way forward, you may have experienced this issue. Sometimes the goals that we establish for ourselves and seek, actually begin to hold us back. This happens when we see things one way — and cannot budge to see an alternative path. In some cases, it may be time to let the goal go.
  5. Authenticity isn’t always a good thing.
    I’ve worked with more than one individual, whose authentic “brand” or work style, literally stood in the way of progress. I’m not referring to awful people, who fail to possess concern for their employees or colleagues. I’m speaking of talented, kind individuals who have a working style or flow, that happens to affect others adversely. When made aware of how their quirks derailed others, they are usually horrified. (Know yourself and how you work best. But, also build awareness of how that might impacts others. If you aren’t completely sure — ask.)

Work life is a journey.

If approached with the right mindset, it is also a non-stop learning experience.

What have you learned about work life that was unexpected? Share in comments.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who focuses on empowering work through the development of a strong foundation. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Why I’m Counting on Small Rituals Right Now

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PipChristie@Unsplash

Rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored.- Terry Tempest Williams

We planted four clump, yellow rose bushes in our backyard garden last summer. They are situated in an area that for some odd reason, everything seems to perish. I have a number of concocted theories as to why this continues to happen. Our home is well over 70 years old and from what I discern from original plans, a garage once stood near that area. Maybe this contributes somehow. Or there is possibly too much sun. Too little water. Or our 100 pound German Shepard stomps over the plantings when chasing her tennis ball.

I’ve just surveyed the situation. It’s not looking all that hopeful.

The point is not the roses, but that the ritual of the garden occupies my mind in a manner that frees me for a stretch of time. Small rituals makes us more comfortable, more centered — even when a sense of instability may exist all around us. For you, this may mean walking around the block after dinner, game night, sitting on your balcony in the morning or a quiet cup of coffee before you write a report. You could call these routines, but somehow these idiosyncratic actions hold more value than that label would imply.

Whatever that ritual is, no matter how small it may seem — it matters. Small rituals help define who we are as individuals. They help align who we are with our surroundings. I feel they likely make us better contributors, as well.

When we get back to our desks, the rest will still be there.

But for that moment, I’m rooting for the roses.

Strategy: Rituals

  • Do you have a small ritual that helps you remain productive right now?
  • Do you feel rituals have become more important during this crisis?
  • Does your organization or team have a ritual that helps them along?

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who explores the value of core stability to empower work & career. She helps people & teams build a stronger work life foundation through The Core Masterclass. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

The Peculiar Power of Narratives

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Every story has another way of being told. – Krishna

Notes
As human beings we naturally create narratives. These are the stories that connect our experiences and can become fodder for the voice that we hear in our own minds. As things shift and sputter within our own work lives, narratives can become very active. The shock of our new lives and the uncertainty of how the future might unfold — is ample fuel to build them.

Narratives can take on many useful forms and can be positive. For example, a smart strategic narrative can fuel an entire organization and a well-crafted career narrative can support career paths. Yet on the flip side, narratives can be negative — causing great distraction. This brand of narrative, can play havoc with our own self-image, our work and our work-based relationships.

Most of us have built a narrative about who we are and how we work. Your team may harbor a set concerning who they are as a group, as well. Ditto for leadership.

This is not a surprise.

Stories are central within our history as human beings. (Interestingly, this tendency to connects the dots, or pattern seek is named narrative bias.) Even while we sleep we seem to weave a story, comprised of the bits and pieces of our day, blended with our unique past. On a basic level, we build narratives to make sense of the world. They are much like shorthand. At their best — narratives can build confidence and power our paths. Yet, at their worst, they can become misleading and destructive.

The problem arises when the narratives get in the way of our own development or our work.

Narratives have become a very present fixture in my work as a coach. This is because it became evident that narratives affect nearly every individual, team and organization. Moreover, the thread of narratives was a common blockade to progress, and can become active when we deal with people, teams and even other organizations.

When the narrative surrounds our own paths, skills & abilities — an entirely new problem can emerge. In this scenario, the stories we tell ourselves or others that other might build about us begin to define us. When you hit a pothole in our paths, these narratives seem to be waiting ringside.

Let’s take advantage of the current pause to identify them — and make an attempt to challenge the negative variety.

Only then can we unravel their power and move forward without them.

Strategy: Narrative Identification

  • Identify a narrative that affects you personally as a contributor. This narrative could speak to your skills/traits/abilities, your work, how you feel about yourself or how you believe others see you.
  • Identify a narrative that affects your team. This can include your team’s internal functioning, and how it behaves with adjacent teams/functions or clients.
  • Try to pinpoint how these narratives developed. This could be rooted in an experience, a conversation or possibly hearsay.
  • Challenge the narrative. This involves challenging the narrative by posing an alternative explanation and possible outcomes.

Our innate need to make sense of the world, can make us susceptible to built narratives. Be ever-vigilant, to recognize if they helping or hurting your work life.

Author’s note: The Core File is now featured at LinkedIn.

Please note: All posts are solely owned by the author. Reprinting (other than re-blogging at another WordPress blog) is by permission only.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, diagnostician & speaker, who explores the value of core stability to empower our work. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

Acknowledging Change, Psychological Resources & Heraclitus

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No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. – Heraclitus

We all have our own predisposition toward change. This likely colors our initial response toward disruption in both life or work. Although we might adapt to our surroundings with time — I’m unsure we emerge on the other side the same as we once were.

The changes we have been experiencing regarding work life of late, run far deeper than the notion of working remotely. The experience is likely a layered one, where we have not only faced a steep need for technological adoption, but a certain form of loss. Moving through a crisis with sustained resilience is not an easy task. Whether we are actively working (as an essential contributor or virtually) or isolating, that journey is bounded by the honesty, empathy and ingenuity that we bring. This includes acknowledging what has already changed — and what may change longer-term.

Like the world of work, we are not static. We are human beings. We change as we process what is laid before us. We bob and weave, we acknowledge and adjust — yet we also take a certain number of direct “hits”. None of us should expect to be the exactly same as we once were, or work as we once had, for that matter. It is the nature of these things. For better or worse, we evolve as the result of what we live through. We may not recognize the exact changes in the current moment, but we may sense their presence.

At some point, our work lives will resume in earnest. How closely our work will resemble what we once knew, is only speculation. How we will align with these changes — is another matter.

When we step into the river, we will likely be different.

Part B. I’ve come to believe that considering our psychological resources can help us prepare for change. Whether you work solo, within a team or run an organization — caring for the psychological resources which comprise our work life foundation, the core, is wise. That foundation may not directly affect the bottom line, yet it sits squarely on the path leading to that success.

I would like to briefly mention two supporting constructs that may have been affected recently; locus of control and self-efficacy. There are uncertainties operating currently, which can drain us. Changes in the status of these constructs can affect how we engage with our work and spark dark side narratives.

Locus of control explores our beliefs concerning the power we have over our lives and our work. Individuals who possess an internal locus, generally feel that through their own knowledge, skills and behavior they can impact shape their lives. Those with an external locus of control may feel at the mercy of things outside of themselves. Becoming aware of our own “locus”, can help us understand our own journey.

Self-efficacy refers to the feeling that our actions are impactful and can lead to desired outcomes. If we feel that no matter the effort we invest — the results do not come, self-efficacy suffers. This can lead to feelings of helplessness.

While you isolate, please keep these constructs in mind. Try to identify what you can control and what effort-to-outcome relationships have been disrupted. Then monitor how you are feeling.

Meanwhile, a brief guide.

Strategy: What to consider or discuss, going forward.

  • Acknowledge uncertainties.
  • Acknowledge what we’ve lost.
  • Acknowledge what has already changed.
  • Discuss how things may change.
  • Consider how we have changed personally.
  • Identify what we can control.
  • Lead with empathy, toward yourself and others.

My best to everyone.

Author’s note:  The Core File is now featured at LinkedIn.

Please note: All posts are solely owned by the author. Reprinting (other than re-blogging at another WordPress blog) is by permission only.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, who focuses on empowering work through the development of core stability. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her thoughts on work life have also appeared at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

Redefining Success, Resource Constraints & the Bronte Sisters

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Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Teddy Roosevelt


The idea of success is foundational within our work lives — and we are continually bombarded by metrics and memes regarding it. Yet in times such as these, our definitions of success have quickly faded or have become entirely obsolete. For many of us, what we once deemed important has shifted. Considering success may seem shallow, as we ask the question “How can I help?”. For those of us in roles which are not essential, we may feel pangs of uselessness. Yet as the weeks have progressed, it has become clear that we can all play a role even if its scope feels dwarfed. Moreover, we should continue to do the work we are committed to and love, if possible. Hopefully in this way, we can contribute. (I am forever grateful to those who are working to bring us essential services. To those who stock our grocery shelves, protect us and bring needed healthcare within our hospitals, thank you.)

Productivity and progress have been altered as well. We must now work within the changing confines of our current lives. (And this may become our new normal for quite some time.) Yet this sudden transition doesn’t necessarily limit us entirely. While adapting to how we work, I can’t help but think of how others lived with the limitations of their own circumstances — and how they contributed.

The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, lived lives of relative isolation at a parsonage, yet managed to create some of the most engaging stories in literature (Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights to mention two). Their lives were difficult, as was common in their time, losing their mother and two older sisters to tuberculosis early on. As women, the sisters struggled to find a publishing channel to share their work. Eventually, all were published under male pseudonyms; Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell.

While they were tenacious in the quest to become published authors — it was their gift of imagination that would set them apart. They utilized every experience, every observation, every crumb of nuance as fuel to create brilliant, layered, psychologically-complex characters. The fabric of their lives and the dire experiences they faced, were woven into their books. (Sadly, Emily & Anne also succumbed to tuberculosis by age 30. Charlotte lived to the age of 39.)

In some instances, resource constraints can bring both creativity and innovation. Our imaginations can be triggered by even the most mundane of details. Anything can serve as that fuel. A conversation, a tweet, a walk around the block. Combined with knowledge & experience, the results can be both formidable and enduring.

I can’t help but wonder, if we can somehow utilize the shift in our daily experience as an opportunity. To look deeper and create perspectives, products and services that would enrich the lives of others. Just as the Bronte sisters managed to do.

While our lives may currently have increasing boundaries — our minds remain infinite.

Strategy Shift: Progress/Success in these times.

  • How have you adapted over the last weeks?
  • Has your overall idea of success shifted in some way?
  • Have you adjusted your goals in any way, subtly or radically, as you move forward?
  • Have you utilized resources differently? Supported other to do so?
  • What have you gained?
  • What have you learned that you might share with others?

Author’s note: The Core File is now featured at LinkedIn.

Please note: All posts are solely owned by the author. Reprinting (other than re-blogging at another WordPress blog) is by permission only.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. Her Masterclass for managers focuses on empowering work through the development of core stability. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her thoughts on work life have also appeared at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo, Forbes and The Huffington Post.